Rafael Llamas
Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Mexico
Expert Contributor

Bridging Cultural Differences to Create Business Opportunities

By Rafael Llamas | Wed, 09/02/2020 - 08:00

The mission of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Mexico is to be a trade bridge for the markets between the Nordic countries and Mexico, building a relationship based on Nordic business values such as transparency, business conduct, social respect for communities, employees and all those with whom we do business.

Our Chamber was founded more than 10 years ago with the aim of creating a rapprochement between Mexico and Nordic companies already established in the country from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Today, there are more than 300 Nordic companies in Mexico and their investments total more than US$30 billion a year.

The Nordic Chamber works together with the Nordic embassies, and each embassy has an honorary seat on the Chamber's board and two advisers. Today, we continue to operate in the same way, encouraging commercial collaboration between Mexican companies and the Nordic markets, as well as welcoming new Nordic companies to our country.

It is estimated that the Ericsson telephone company was the first to arrive in Mexico in 1911, becoming one of the reasons why the Nordic companies that today operate in the engineering fields have a strong presence in Mexico. In addition, more than 60 percent of the installed capacity in the mining and cement industry in Mexico originates from Nordic countries.

Nordic industries have also strengthened their presence in Mexico overtime. For example, the telecommunications, mining and cement industries have seen strong growth in the last 10 years in the transport sector (Maersk and DSV and the Lazaro Cardenas terminal).

Pharmaceutical companies have a strong collaboration with IMSS, and in terms of energy there is a strong relationship with the Ministry of Energy in the installation of wind systems. In addition, the LEGO toy store has more than US$580 million invested in Mexico and exports all over the world.

As you can see, the Nordic countries in Mexico have a strong commercial presence. This is because Mexico is a market of more than 125 million people and because investing in the country really opens the doors to four markets:  

  1. The Mexican domestic market with a large growth potential, especially in the lower-middle class segment.     
  2. North American Market (via the T-Mec).     
  3. The Latin American market for which Mexico has free trade agreements with almost all countries.
  4. The Asia-Pacific Treaty (even with adjustments along the way). 

In addition to opening up to other markets, Mexico has other qualities that make it strategic for Nordic companies, such as its manufacturing potential. In addition, Mexico is working on the necessary infrastructure to be able to benefit from its geographically privileged location, which allows it to connect these four markets that will be of great support for the manufacture and distribution of many products.
The big projects of the Mexican government will support this development: the new airport in Santa Lucia, the petrochemical complex of Dos Bocas in Tabasco, the Mayan Train and especially the great project of the Transisthmian Corridor that will join the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean for handling and storage of containers from Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos.

Nordic companies with  presence in Mexico as well as Mexican companies representing Nordic products and services have proven their effectiveness to the Mexican market and users. In particular, they have stood out for their quality, innovation, reliability, transparency in business and their commitment to customer service. Obviously, there is a difference and this is the main reason for the creation of the Camara Nordica, to build a "bridge" between these differences. 
One of the important projects that has been in progress and that is worth mentioning is the creation of the Swedish Mining Academy that is being established in the city of Zacatecas. This academy, promoted by Business Sweden and sponsored by several of our companies, demonstrates the interest not only in providing products and services, but also in training students, who are being trained as mining engineers to allow them to know and operate equipment with a Nordic patent manufactured in Mexico or imported.

The Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Mexico is equally present to support Mexican companies looking for markets in the Nordic countries (helping them to cross the same "bridge" of cultural differences).

Within our group of associates we also have Mexican companies that interact and collaborate with many of the associated companies. 

There is a great opportunity for Mexico and its companies to take advantage of the new markets that are opening up, in addition to the academic support that the Nordic countries are offering our country.

Photo by:   Rafael Llamas